Create a Tuj Lub Court in Your Yard

If you haven’t been connected to the Hmong community, you have likely never heard of the term “tuj lub” (pronounced Too-Loo). Yet it is one of the most popular sports in Laos, and a cultural love that has withstood the tests of time and is now still being played by the Hmong community in Sacramento and the Central Valley.

Tuj Lub is a sport that involves spinning a heavy top using a stick that resembles a fishing rod, and trying to hit other tops out of the way. While it may sound easy, the truth is that it is a game that is very difficult to learn and even harder to master, but it still represents a fun and exciting sport that is often played by elders in the Hmong community.

Create a Tuj Lub Court in Your Yard

If you have ever played Tuj Lub before or are interested in learning the game, you may want to consider adding a Tuj Lub to your landscape. It’s surprisingly easy to install, and all you need is space, a bit of concrete, and of course access to Tuj Lub equipment (which is hard to find – you may need to find people playing Tuj Lub and ask them if you can purchase one. Someone usually has a set for sale for $20 to $40).

If you have a very large backyard, you’ll want to lay down a concrete rectangle to use as the “tee” for this game. You’ll also want to install 3 perfectly flat concrete or other hardscape squares several feet apart. These will be used for opponents to spin their tops. Ideally, these need to be as flat as possible so that the tops can spin easily without friction. Talk to your landscape designer about options.

That’s about it. You may want to consider some type of wall to prevent the top from being pushed too far into someone else’s yard, but Tuj Lub is a simple game that – if you have the space – could conceivably give you a lot more to do in your yard and an excuse to spend more time outside.

Playing Tuj Lub

For those curious to learn more about Tuj Lub, check out this primer from the Minneapolis Post. There you’ll be able to see some videos that will show you how the game is played. But the best thing you can do is simply find a Tuj Lub game in your area and talk to the elders about how to play the game. They are always more than happy to teach you how to play, and may make you want a tuj lub court in your backyard.

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